Duncan Cenotaph

As part of our project to document the names on the Duncan Cenotaph in Charles Hoey Park, here is a page about Pilot Officer Harold Bischlager, who died 18 December 1941 while serving in the U.K. with the Royal Canadian Air Force 97 (R.A.F) Squadron. He is buried in Coningsby Cemetery, Lincolnshire, U.K.

Here is the local Cowichan Leader newspaper report of the death of Pilot Officer Harold Bischlager:

“P.O. Bischlager Is Killed On Active Service

A native son of Duncan paid the supreme sacrifice on Thursday when Pilot Officer Harold Bischlager, R.C.A.F., son of the Rev. Arthur Bischlager, Esquimalt, senior naval Pacific coast chaplain, and Mrs. Bischlager, was killed while on active service.

Besides his parents he leaves one sister, Doris, who is a registered nurse. The family resided in Duncan for 17 years while Mr. Bischlager was in charge of the parish of St. John’s and St. Mary’s, Somenos. They were greatly respected and have many friends here.

Harold was born in Duncan on August 19, 1921 and, as he grew up, was popular with young people and adults alike. As a small boy he attended Queen Margaret’s School, later going to Duncan Elementary and High schools. When Mr. Bischlager was transferred to St. Paul’s, Esquimalt, in 1937, Harold completed his matriculation at the high school there before entering the Canadian Bank of Commerce, from which he enlisted.

A good student, Harold was prominent in sport. He played rugby, soccer, softball, badminton and lacrosse, and gained particular prominence in the last named game in Victoria. He was in the Scout organization here for years, becoming Duncan Cub pack leader while a small boy and later going on to lead the Duncan Scout troop, of which his father was Scoutmaster.

Harold enlisted in the R.C.A.F. on October 26, 1940, having previously been in the 3rd Bn., Canadian Scottish, N.P.A.M., for three months. He received his wings on July 3 and soon afterwards went overseas. His death is keenly felt by a wide circle friends in this district.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 24 December 1941, from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections) 

Here are some site with more information on Harold Bischlager:

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